The character of Astro Boy may be heading to New Line Cinema, THR is reporting. What’s more is that the company has tapped SAN ANDREAS writers Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore to write a live-action version of the script. While the manga and anime series was definitely aimed more towards kids back when it came out decades ago, this film will be created as a four-quadrant adventure film, meaning it’ll be reworked to appeal to all ages, young and old. As such, they are likely to give the series more an of edgy tone than its creator originally intended, perhaps in the vein of a TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE.
While you may not recognize the character name, chances are you recognize the look of the character himself. Created by legendary manga artist Osamu Tezuka–who was heavily influenced by Walt Disney–Astro Boy definitely has the look of an old-school Disney character. Hollywood has taken several tries at bringing the franchise over the U.S., only succeeding with 2009’s ASTRO BOY from Imagi Entertainment. That film was quite the disappointment, both critically and at the box office. Despite its failure, it’s no surprise that it’s still in development, as Hollywood is always in search of existing properties to plunder. Anything with name recognition is usually a better bet than something completely new.
For those unfamiliar, ASTRO BOY (originally called THE MIGHTY ATOM in Japan) follows the adventures of Astro, a robot created by a man named Dr. Tenma, who created him to replace his dead son. It’s a morbid premise, to say the least, one that’s very fitting with author Osamu Tezuka’s style, who tends to mix lighthearted tales with darker elements.
If you ask me, they should just ditch the true ASTRO BOY spirit, and instead do an adaptation of PLUTO, which is a manga from author Naoki Urasawa. That series was a more mature retelling of a specific arc in the ASTRO BOY manga, and was more in the vein of, say, BLADE RUNNER and LOOPER than it was ASTRO BOY. That being said, it wasn’t just mature for mature’s sake, and had amazing storytelling elements, unique and relatable characters, and most importantly, a style and sensibility that would adapt well to Western culture.
What do you think of ASTRO BOY getting picked up by New Line? Would you be interested in seeing a live-action version of this property? Let us know in the comments down below!